"I am in favor of the public option," Sen. Harry Reid proclaimed -- twice! -- during an extended telemarketing session from a call center in Reno Friday.
Well, that was easy enough.
Or it would be, except with Harry, well, it never is:
And what would that be? It would be a public option. Remember that word: option. Public option.
And we're working now to come up with a program that would allow that to take place. There's a lot of people who misunderstand this. They think it's some government program. But there are many ways we can do it. One would be to have an entity like Medicare. I really don't favor that. I think what we should have is a private entity that is, that has direction from the federal government, so that people who don't fall within the parameters of being able to get insurance from their employer, they would have a place to go."
The public option issue came up again at the end of the call when a question from KLAS anchor Paula Francis, who moonlights as a citizen and a Democrat, elicited what could have been Reid's strongest public endorsement of the public option ever.
First, Reid had to explain that people would have to pay premiums. "It's not a program set up for people who are losers," the senator said, continuing his long tradition of taking the loser vote for granted in an offensive expression of callous elitism that would be an unbecoming thing to say even during a week when Ted Kennedy didn't die.
But then he added...
And ideally it will be ... private?
Told ya he was going to make everything crystal clear!